Paris’s regional council vows to stop funding for BDS promoters
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Paris’s regional council vows to stop funding for BDS promoters

French Jewish leaders hail vote in Ile-de-France region, home to most of country’s 500,000 Jews

Valerie Pecresse (Miguel Medina/AFP)
Valerie Pecresse (Miguel Medina/AFP)

A regional council in France that includes Paris passed a precedent-setting amendment that excludes funding from promoters of boycotts against Israel.

The council of the Ile-de-France region, where right-wing parties have a majority, adopted the amendment Thursday, the Le Monde Juif website reported the following day.

The report said the council’s president, Valérie Pécresse of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party, led the vote in keeping with her campaign promises to pursue vigorous measures against the BDS movement – an acronym for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

“In accordance with the law, I will not tolerate any form of boycotts against Israel in the Ile-de-France region,” she said while campaigning for the top executive political position of the region, which is home to most of France’s 500,000 Jews.

A photo by BDS France showing protesters calling on the cellular provider to cut ties with Israel. The signs say in French 'Blood red Orange in occupied Palestine,' 'What is Orange doing in the occupied Palestinian territories?' and 'Colonized and limited with Orange.' (Screen capture: Electronic Intifada)
A photo by BDS France showing protesters calling on the cellular provider to cut ties with Israel. The signs say in French ‘Blood red Orange in occupied Palestine,’ ‘What is Orange doing in the occupied Palestinian territories?’ and ‘Colonized and limited with Orange.’ (Screen capture: Electronic Intifada)

Robert Ejnes, deputy president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, in a Twitter post congratulated the council for its amendment, whose final text was not yet published. Ariel Goldmann, another CRIF vice president, wrote on Twitter about the measure: “Thank you and bravo.”

In France, several dozen promoters of a boycott against Israel have been convicted of inciting hate or discrimination. Some activists have been convicted based on the 2003 Lellouche law, which extends anti-racism laws to the targeting of specific nations for discriminatory treatment.

The judiciary in neighboring Spain has cracked down in recent years on BDS initiatives, declaring them unconstitutional. Last month, the high court of the Asturias region joined other Spanish high tribunals in upholding rulings declaring BDS discriminatory.

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party is also formulating legislation against BDS, officials said earlier this year.

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